Breakdown of Three Strikes Law for Violent Offenders

Enacted in July of 1999, the Three Strikes Law in the state of Florida was created and targeted towards those who were deemed to be "career criminals." These are also commonly referred to as habitual and repeat offenders. While there are many different facets of the law, one of the most prominent is the section that deals with repeat violent offenders.

To be punished under this section of the law, there are five different elements that must be fulfilled:

  1. Defendant had two previous convictions for violent felonies
  2. These two convictions occurred on separate occasions
  3. Defendant is currently facing charges for a violent felony
  4. The current charged occurred either:
    • While serving a sentence for the previous convictions
    • Within five years of the previous conviction
    • Within five years of finishing sentencing
  5. The defendant had not received any sort of pardon

If the following are proven, the defendant will be slapped with the minimum penalties of the Three Strikes Law, including life in prison if the current charge is for a life felony. If it is a first degree felony, it will result in thirty years of imprisonment; a second degree felony will result in fifteen years and a third degree felony will cause the defendant to be imprisoned for five years.

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